The Big Dig: Update on construction projects underway in La Jolla

By Ashley Mackin

Several construction projects are in the works around town from repairing sewer and water lines to renovating landmarks and replacing worn public structures.

Along Coast Boulevard

■ Job 820, a repair project to bring the existing sewer at La Jolla Cove up to modern standards, replace 1.3 miles of deteriorated sewer main in the Village, and rehabilitate approximately a third mile of collective, existing sewer mains was completed Feb. 12.

During construction, parking was prohibited along parts of Coast Boulevard parallel to Scripps Park, due to the project’s open cut trenching. Next, contractors will work on another segment of Coast Boulevard to rehabilitate several hundred feet of sewer main, which will not require trenching.

■ The sewer main replacement work will next progress to Ivanhoe Street, between Cave Street and Ivanhoe Street East. Construction hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

“While all efforts will be taken to minimize impacts to the residents and businesses in the community, parking on Coast Boulevard will be impacted during construction hours only to facilitate construction activities,” said Scott Robinson, public information officer for the Department of Public Works.

■ Streets will be resurfaced when the entire project in the La Jolla area is completed in April 2015. Robinson reported that in applicable areas, temporary “No Parking” signs would be placed 48 hours before construction activities start and towing will be enforced.

In the Shores

■ Demolition of the former north comfort station (restroom) at Kellogg Park was completed Feb. 13 to make room for the new comfort station, which should be completed this summer. Friends of La Jolla Shores spearheaded the project, which was majority-funded by the John G. Watson Family Foundation.

■ The Sewer and Water Group 809 Project and Infrastructure Replacement Project began along Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores Dec. 9. The project includes demolition of the 50-year-old storm drain at the end of Avenida de la Playa and the 1,300 feet of piping leading up to it, and repair of more than 9,000 feet of sewer and water pipes throughout the Shores.

The intersection of Avenida de la Playa at Camino del Oro will be closed for at least two-and-a-half months from the start of construction.

The project begins at the beach and will work its way east. It is scheduled for completion in April 2014, in accordance with the summer construction moratorium (Memorial Day to Labor Day).

Along Avenida de la Playa, some open-cut trenching began Feb. 12, much to the chagrin of local business owners.

■ The La Jolla Ecological Reserve ASBS, which involves construction of new low- flow diversion systems, is underway. Construction is scheduled to wrap up in December. There are two additional low-flow diversion systems being installed along Torrey Pines Road.

In the Village

■ St. James-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church’s project to reinforce its bell tower is complete and restoration of the roof is nearing completion. The entire restoration project, which will refurbish the bell tower, roof, exterior and non-stained glass windows, should be finished in July, which John Norris, chair of the building and grounds committee, calls a realistic timeframe.

The next step is to sandblast and stucco the exterior of the building. Once the sandblasting and stuccoing is complete, the scaffolding currently surrounding the bell tower will come down, ideally this April.

The bulk of the remaining project is refurbishing all of the non-stained glass windows, of which there are about 50. During the sanding of the window frames, special precautions will be taken to ensure minimal sawdust is left in the church.

Top of the Cove

■ The former restaurant’s home is in the midst of a multi-million dollar demolition and construction project that will turn the space into a 10,000-square-foot dining area with upstairs and downstairs decks overlooking La Jolla Cove. Deborah Marengo, vice president of Marengo Morton Architects, explained to U-T San Diego back in October 2012, “We’re in the demo phase right now, building out the shell of the building, and once we secure a user and a concept, the interior may change to go along with their program.”

She told La Jolla Light this month there were no additional updates available.

La Jolla Blvd. at Marine Street

■ A 15,000 square-foot mixed-use facility is under construction at 7401 La Jolla Blvd. and contractors hope the project will be completed by summer. The facility will have a basement-level parking garage, commercial ground-floor space and a residential unit on top.

Safety Measures

■ Fire Station No. 9: Repairs to the roof and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems will soon be complete. The City of San Diego budgeted $347,000 for these improvements. Kitchen and dorm renovations are planned when funds become available.

■ Crosswalks: In December 2013, to highlight pedestrian use, blinking lights were installed in a crosswalk leading to La Jolla Elementary School across Girard Avenue. The project began in June 2013 and cost $445,000.

At the Traffic and Transportation advisory group meeting in January, a similar lighted crosswalk across Pearl Street was suggested to promote safe crossing for school children.

■ Updated indicator buttons were installed at the lighted crosswalk across Coast Boulevard South leading to Casa De Manana.

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